Ms Karen Neuman > Dechert LLP > Boston, United States > Lawyer Profile

Dechert LLP
BOSTON, MA 02110-2605
United States
Karen Neuman photo

Work Department




Karen Neuman is a partner and co-chair of Dechert’s global privacy & cybersecurity practice. She is an internationally recognized, sought after privacy lawyer and thought leader. Recommended by The Legal 500, she was the former Chief Privacy Officer with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the Obama Administration, where she was part of the DHS senior leadership team and principal privacy advisor to the DHS Secretary. Ms. Neuman provides sophisticated, solution-oriented advice to global organizations, including new entrants and well-established companies, boards and management in a wide range of sectors on cutting edge issues involving data-driven products, tools and services.

Ms. Neuman focuses on counseling clients on commercial privacy matters, including the collection, use, processing and protection of consumer and employee data. She has deep experience advising clients on sector-specific privacy laws and regulations, including federal and state privacy and cyber security laws and frameworks, as well as industry self-regulatory codes. Ms. Neuman also has extensive experience advising clients on the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), cross-border data transfer mechanisms, and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). In addition, she works closely with clients to craft internal data handling and incident response policies, conduct privacy and cyber security impact and legal risk assessments and lead sessions for corporate boards on privacy and cybersecurity risk, crisis management and cyber incidents. Ms. Neuman also conducts privacy due diligence in connection with mergers and acquisitions, financings and commercial transactions.

Ms. Neuman is uniquely positioned to help clients navigate their most complex privacy and cybersecurity matters. In her former role at DHS, she oversaw, implemented and enforced the department’s privacy and data security program and provided advice to other senior leaders at DHS and other agencies concerning relevant statutes, rules, presidential orders, policies and best practices. Appointed to President Obama’s Federal Privacy Council, Ms. Neuman spearheaded the integration of innovative privacy protections into various DHS programs and oversaw how those protections were operationalized. Notably, she worked on the department’s big data analytics program and White House initiatives for cybersecurity information sharing with commercial entities. She was also a member of the U.S. delegation that negotiated the EU – U.S. Umbrella Data Privacy Protection Agreement with the European Commission and was one of the senior officials that supported the U.S. team that negotiated the EU – U.S. Privacy Shield.


  • International Association of Privacy Professionals
  • American Bar Association


  • University of California, Santa Cruz, B.A., 1978
  • Antioch School of Law, J.D., 1984

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Media, technology and telecoms > Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection)

Dechert LLP is able to attract high-profile clients dealing with significant data breaches and cyber-attacks as well as those seeking strategic advice especially in connection to M&A, financings and commercial transactions due diligence. Brenda Sharton and Karen Neuman head up the practice from Boston and Washington DC; respectively. Sharton is praised as ‘a fantastic partner to any business’ and an expert litigator, arbitrator and often acts on civil government, regulatory and enforcement matters. Neuman specializes, among other matters, in the collection, use, processing and protection of consumer and employee data. Associate Hilary Bonaccorsi in Boston is highlighted for her knowledge of global privacy and cybersecurity laws and frameworks.

United States > Media, technology and telecoms > Fintech

Dechert LLP has a wide-ranging workload in the fintech space that includes cutting-edge cryptocurrency transactions, as well as more traditional transactional, cybersecurity and regulatory matters. Silicon Valley-based partner Timothy Spangler has experience of fund management, fintech and cryptocurrency issues, all of which intersected on his lead role assisting Franklin Templeton on the launch of its groundbreaking blockchain-based mutual fund. Philadelphia-based Ralph Mazzeo is also experienced in related securitizations and digital assets. The regulatory and compliance aspects are typically handled by Susan Grafton in Washington DC and San Francisco practice head Mark D Perlow, a former senior counsel in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. Karen Neuman (Washington DC) and Boston’s Brenda Sharton are respectively on hand for non-contentious and contentious privacy and cybersecurity issues.

United States > Dispute resolution > Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense

The globally integrated trial, investigations and securities team at Dechert LLP has considerable experience in cross-border investigations and often leans on support from its international network when assisting multinational clients. Its deep bench includes former regulators and prosecutors, and the team is led by New York’s David N Kelley and Chicago’s David Kistenbroker. Kelly is recommended for white-collar crime, commercial litigation and federal securities matters, while Andrew Levander, who is also based in New York, is recommended for securities enforcement and regulation, specializing in the asset management industry. The team was recently strengthened by the arrival of Hartley West and Richard Horvath in San Francisco, who joined from Kobre & Kim and Paul Hastings LLP, respectively. Brenda Sharton and Karen Neuman both joined from Goodwin in Boston and Washington DC, respectively. Other team changes include the arrival of Steven Engel in Washington DC from the DOJ and Michael Gilbert‘s departure from the firm in June 2021.